Summary- Legolas comes back wounded from a hunting trip and Thranduil feels incredibly guilty about things that were said.

Disclaimer- Don't own, get no money, very poor, please don't sue.

Powerful words.

A shadow of a figure crept through the silent halls of Mirkwood. His footsteps fell to lightly for any human to hear, and even an elf would be hard pressed to identify the whisper of sound.

Slowly, slowly he proceeded down a long hall. His goal lay at the end.

Suddenly, he froze. Behind him were. voices! Someone was coming! Quickly, he seemed to dissolve into the shadows of the wall, forcing himself to remain still, and not to stir.

Two young elf lords came into view, talking and laughing. They didn't see him. They passed without a glance and disappeared into their room.

The figure, an elf himself, released a silent sigh of relief. He moved forward again.

The doorway at the end of the hall loomed before him. He traced his fingers gently over the healer's symbol engraved into the door; moving down the smooth wood until his slender fingers came to rest on the handle. He hesitated.

He snorted in self-disgust (though very softly). He had no reason to be afraid. His fingers gripped the handle and turned it decidedly.

The door swung inwards without a sound.

Before him was a bed.

An elf lay there. His breathing was soft and erratic. Bandages covered his right arm from the elbow down to his wrist.

His eyes were shut.

All the former hesitance and fear surged back. The elf swallowed hard and forced himself to step forward. Gingerly, he lowered himself onto the edge of the wounded elf's bed. His hand stretched out, almost timidly, stopping just short of the elf's forehead. He looked down at the face that was so pale against the pillows.

The wounded elf was young, and the pallor of his cheeks made him seem even younger. His long blond hair was stretched across the pillow, freed from the usual braids he plaited it into.

Prince Legolas, heir to the Mirkwood throne.

The older elf gently brought his hand down, stroking the soft golden hair. He closed his eyes tightly as tears started to form in the corners. The young prince had flatly declared that he was far to old for such affectionate gestures at the age of 100.

" Ion nin," he murmured softly, his face tight with pain. The tears slowly pooled and slid down his fair elven face.

Thranduil continued to stroke his son's fair head, his silent sobs shaking his body. So many things had gone wrong. so many things.

Why, oh why had he argued with his son before he left that last time? Why had he felt the need to say such things?


Thranduil stood at the door to his son's room, looking on in disapproval as Legolas readied himself for a hunting trip. The king sighed in frustration. "Legolas."

Legolas did not look up from the bag he was currently packing. " Yes, ada?"

" I thought we agreed that last time was the last hunting trip you would take this winter."

" We did not."

" Legolas, I was quite clear. You have neglected you duties of late, and now is the time to amend that."

Legolas fiddled with the strap on the bag, obviously unwilling to look up. When he spoke, his voice was so soft that Thranduil had to strain to hear his words.

" Perhaps my duties are not to my liking."

The Elvenking's eyes flashed. " You are the prince, Legolas. Your duties are to groom you for the time when you will be King."

Now Legolas did look up, and his own eyes flashed. " Then perhaps I do not wish to be the King!"

Thranduil's eyes widened. He was shocked down to the core of his being. Did his son find him so odious that he did not even wish to inherit his position? Perhaps that was the reason he had suddenly taking to avoiding him of late.

" Continue with that attitude," Thranduil ground between his teeth. " And you will not be fit for the position."

Shocked silence filled the room. Thranduil had time to see the hurt flood his son's blue eyes, before he turned and stalked away.


The Elvenking groaned softly as he remembered. He withdrew his hand from his son's head and gripped his uninjured hand tightly. The tears fell freely now, wetting his cheeks.

He did not bother to wipe them away.


Thranduil stood at his balcony, thankful that he had built it looking out over Mirkwood. He wanted to be the first that spotted his son returning home. He wanted to apologize.

Three days had passed since the hard words in Legolas' chamber and the father had felt the sting of guilt most acutely.

The slender fingers of his right hand began to tap on the railing. A sure sign of nervousness.

He turned away with a sigh. He would wait until tomorrow morning, then he would send out search parties. While it was not unheard of for his son to be gone for three days, it was also not entirely normal.

When he was gone for long a period of time he had a tendency to turn up… injured.

A cry went up from the gates. Thranduil's head jerked upwards. Legolas! Dread suddenly churned in his heart, putting wings on his feet as he flew to the main gate. The cry had not been a happy one. Something was wrong. Something was dreadfully, horribly wrong. He arrived panting. There was a crowd already gathered, and the parted to let him through.

His eyes widened.

Three elves stood at the gate. Or, two elves stood and the third sagged between the two, one arm thrown over each of their shoulders.

Long blond hair hung in filthy tangles around his bowed head.

" No."

" I am sorry, your majesty," one of the elves rasped, clearly exhausted.

" Legolas!" The king leapt forward, taking his son's weight from the other two. He did not notice the healers appear, and barely registered the fact that his son's friends were badly wounded.

The young elf lay limply in his arms, his head thrown back.

His eyes were shut.

" No. No, Legolas."

A long, ugly slash marked the prince's arm from the elbow to the wrist. Blood still dripped from it slowly. On his neck was a brilliant red mark; not significant to many, but for those who lived in Mirkwood.

A spider's bite.


Ion nin- my son